A look back at Rock Star Supernova’s 2006 self-titled release, spawned from the CBS Reality show of the same name.
Whether you like it or not, reality TV and all of its products are an inescapable part of entertainment. It is impossible to completely avoid. With reality shows and contests on music, tattoos, food, dating and even modeling are seen as the pinnacle of television, it’s hard to deny the presence that quote “reality” has had in our lives.
And while music reality shows has been a staple of television for over a decade, there was one program that showed promise with what it could deliver: CBS’s Rock Star Supernova from 2006. In this show several vocalist contestants all competed to be the singer for a supergroup consisting of Tommy Lee from Motley Crue, Jason Newsted of Metallica and Gilby Clarke of Guns n Roses.
After many episodes, fights in a mansion and a lot of hamming it up on stage, a winner was crowned in singer Lukas Rossi. His dream was coming true as he would be a part of a contractually obligated supergroup and be a part of an album with legends. This is the type of show where the actual payoff isn’t watching the finale, but hearing what comes from the new band and the music they create after?
And on paper, this SHOULD work out. If everyone’s on board and is passionate about it then something great and unique could arise – and from all places reality TV. However, there lies the problem in that the specific interest level from some involved parties, namely the famous musician partaking, may not have seen this as a music endeavor but more as a good paycheck to pay off vacation expenditures.
After the series finale closed and the recordings with a new singer finished, we had the self-titled album Rock Star Supernova (formerly known as Supernova before copyrights and lawyers got involved). The finish result was an album that was a side project from three famous bands and a young vocalist who had finally caught his big break.
Be Yourself was the final song performed on the show and was played after Lukas was named the winner AS WELL AS being the 2nd single released from the self-titled album. The group even performed it on Jimmy Kimmel Live and in my opinion, it’s a bit underwhelming. On the album recording the guitars are mixed to come to the front and the vocals don’t come in as strong. The drum work from Mr. Lee is a basic rhythm and that goes also for Newsted’s bassline.
Lyrically it isn’t anything specifically striking or intense. The song itself isn’t painful to listen to and really isn’t BAD, but it’s very unmemorable. There is little that stands out, nothing really brings any emotion while listening, and unfortunately that goes for both the listener and the musicians performing on this track. I reiterate that the track isn’t bad, but it isn’t particularly good either. It’s a very basic vanilla. And the worst part about that description is that it can be applied to a majority of this album. There were four singles that were released from Rock Star Supernova and they all fall into this same quality.
It’s All Love, another single from the album and ANOTHER song to be performed on the TV show, also has a very flat leveling in the recording. It’s tame and doesn’t really push any boundaries. At about two minutes in it finally picks up a little in volume but then it drops down to a snail’s pace for a quiet moment. Lyrically it’s repetitive and nothing stands out in a good way.
You have musicians from some of the most famous bands in the history of rock and metal paired with a young and hungry singer, and the ending result is a tame ballad fit to play on the overhead of a doctor’s office waiting room. You can see how there could have been something special in certain moments, but this track like many others on the album just don’t pique any interest.
In a song like Social Disgrace you finally hear a little more guitar work and pick-up on one level, but then it slowly fades and the track goes back to the same midlevel format of not having any real passion or effort. It’s the typical strum along song that just gets you from beginning to end while no one strains or breaks a sweat. You can HEAR that there is a point or two that could have been carried to make the song stand out, but then nothing comes of it. This goes for everyone involved in Rock Star Supernova.
As you listen through the tracks from the opening song to the closing note, you eekp getting this feeling of anticipation of hope coming that the NEXT song will be the one to make your time worth it. But as time goes on, you realize that while nothing is terrible, there isn’t anything great either.
When you have soooo many elements in the right places it can be hard to come out with something bad. And in all fairness there is nothing BAD when listening to music like this, but there’s a big problem…there isn’t anything particularly good. When there is zero desire to make something creative or meaningful, then it doesn’t matter who is behind the music.
Overall, Rock Star Supernova was a decent idea and had all the right elements, but everything feels lost in the shuffle and as a result the album offers little replay value and no feeling of justification after listening. This truly was a Supernova, in that it imploded into mediocrity.
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